Arsenal set to agree Carvalho move, but no Samper deal
January move for Portuguese midfielder to be thrashed out, as Real Madrid scotch Ronaldo rumours
The future of William Carvalho could be settled this week as Metro reports that Arsenal "are hoping to finally agree a deal" for the Sporting Lisbon midfielder... in Manchester of all places.
It's believed that representatives from the Gunners will meet with Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho (no relation) in Manchester where he has been attending the Soccerex convention, described on the official website as the "football industry's leading business event which attracts over 4,500 of football's most senior decision makers". Sounds a blast.
After being bored to tears by people in suits (and pre-recorded videos of Sepp Blatter) it appears that Sporting and Arsenal will look to wrap up a deal for Carvalho so that he can move to the Emirates in January's transfer window. Apparently the Portuguese outfit are "resigned" losing the playmaking powerhouse and "want the framework of a transfer sorted in the coming days". Though Carvalho has a buyout clause of £37m Metro says Arsenal should be able to get for much less because Sporting need the spondoolies.
One player who won't be going to Arsenal any time soon is Spanish starlet Sergi Samper. If our regular reader was paying attention yesterday they will remember that we reported the midfielder was being tailed by the Gunners. Well, according to the Daily Star, the club's £10m bid for Samper has been "rejected" and Arsenal now stand as much chance of landing the 19-year-old sensation as Andorra do of winning the coveted Pitch of the Year award. According to Spanish rag Mundo Deportivo the Gunners met Samper's buy-out clause, but Barcelona "refused to let another of their young stars leave the Camp Nou for the Emirates".
Finally, speculation has been mounting in recent days that Cristiano Ronaldo's days at Real Madrid are numbered with the preening Portuguese star tipped to return to the Premier League. Manchester United are rumoured to be on his tial, although no matter how much they pay him it might be difficult to persuade him that a relegation scrap is worth his while. At the other end of the table, Chelsea have also been mooted as suitors.
But the Evening Standard reports that the two English clubs "will be publicly told this week that they have no chance" of signing Ronaldo. It seems Real Madrid will issue a statement in the coming days to put an end to the rumours once and for all. According to the Standard, a Spanish source confided: "This is all about money... but Madrid are in no mood to let him go and will almost certainly end up giving him whatever he wants. He's too important for them to let go."